I’m a big believer in sketching your quilt top prior to sewing your first stitch. Here are some of the benefits as I see it:
- It’ s good for your brain. Studies show that there are cognitive benefits to drawing and doodling.
- You can sort through a lot of issues you might encounter when assembling your quilt: how many blocks you need to make, how much fabric you need to buy, what shapes you need to cut, how to assemble your quilt top.
- It’s cheaper than software. There are several programs written for people who want to design their quilt patterns on a computer. I’ll admit, I haven’t tried these. For one thing, they are really expensive (~$200). For another, many people complain that they are hard to use, or that they have to take expensive classes to learn how to use the software. I know there are benefits to generating patterns, as well as access to lots of different block designs, so I may someday take the plunge, but in the meantime, pencil and paper works for me.
- It’s fun. There is a reason those adult coloring books have become wildly popular recently. Drawing and coloring is fun.
I like to print out graph paper, but there are graph paper books you can buy too, if you want to keep all your designs in one place. Whatever your approach, it’s good to have a plan in place before you buy your fabric, cut your blocks, or start sewing.